Books are great for Christmas presents and for Christmas stockings, but often we struggle to find titles that will suit older boys. So I am delighted to have some book reviews from young men. This review is from Timothy Little. (Thank you Tim.)
Baden-Powell: The Man Who Lived Twice by Mary Drewery.
Reviewed by Timothy Little age 16
This book by Mary Drewery is a compelling biography of Lord Baden-Powell, or “B.P.”as he is affectionately known to many. After reading the first chapter, I couldn’t put the book down. This is one of the most enthralling and relatable stories I have ever read.
This book for the most part made me dissatisfied, not only with myself because of my lack of discipline and motivation, but also with the state of society. It left me dreaming that the attributes that B.P. described as the formula for a good Boy Scout could be adopted by everyone worldwide. For example, “…a Scout is a friend to all, and a brother to every other Scout, no matter to what country, class or creed the other may belong. A Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others, is courteous, clean in thought, word and deed…”
In his book ‘Aids to Scouting’ he had emphasized the qualities of character necessary for a good Scout: pluck, discretion, confidence, and self-reliance. Sir Baden-Powell wanted a scheme that would inculcate habits of self-reliance and concern for others. He wanted to effect this by developing powers of observation and reasoning, by teaching practical skills and encouraging physical fitness, by instilling the virtues of self-discipline and obedience.
I was convinced that these characteristics would make the world as close to perfect as we could possibly make it. It would bring the most unlikely of peoples together as friends, and destroy prejudice and poverty entirely. The thought of a world like this and how unlikely it is that humanity could achieve such harmony, brought me to tears.
Also, I learned that the vague picture I had during my time as a Boy Scout of the man who founded the Cubs and Scouts, was nothing compared to the amazing adventurer, pioneer, leader and Scout that is Lord Baden-Powell. I had no idea that the man who created the Scouting movement was such an inspiring man with a passionate desire for excellence as well as moral and physical wholesomeness, and exposing and developing those values in others.
(N.B. This book might be hard to find; try second hand book stores, ABE books, friends, etc. Other books about Lord Baden-Powell here.)